“Accidental” Furs

When it comes to winter fashion in the lower 48, fur went faux a long time ago.


Promotion photo for the film You’re My Everything (1949) featuring Anne Baxter via Wikimedia Commons

Given the overwhelmingly negative vibe surrounding the issue of fur anything, it was a real eyebrow-raiser for me to learn that fur—yes, real fur—may be trending toward chic once again.


Got his attention …


Photo by Mariomassone via Wikimedia Commons

Now before you get your knickers in a bunch, you must understand that this new fur industry ain’t what it used to be. In fact, it’s taking the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra to a whole new level of, well … resourcefulness.

So, tell me, darling—how do you feel about wearing (gulp) roadkill fur?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Come back here and listen to the whole story. I mean, heck, it’s not like I’m asking you to eat bugs or anything. And, just look how pretty:


Photo of woman in fur hat and muff courtesy of Petite Mort Fur

The woman in the photo above is wearing fur reclaimed from animals that were killed on a roadway. She really is. This artistic handling of such unsavory, ah, “media” is the genius of Pamela Paquin, founder of Petite Mort Fur, an elite fashion design company. Thirty-nine-year-old Paquin salvages what she calls “accidental furs” from road-killed animals in the United States in order to craft haute hand muffs, leg warmers, hats, and wraps.

Giving a whole new meaning to “abs of steel,” Paquin harvested her first roadkill last year. “I got this crazy knife that was completely wrong for the task, got my hazmat suit on, took a shot of whiskey, and just started doing it,” she said in an interview with The Washington Post.

Equipped with better tools and talent refined by trial-and-error, Paquin is carving out a place for her company in the eco-fashion industry.

“Accidental furs are loving resurrections of our fuzzy wild neighbors who have met with an untimely or natural death,” she explains. “Each luxurious piece is handmade, individually numbered, custom tailored to each owner’s specifications, befitting an heirloom investment.”

Not even the most passionate animal activist could find fault with her mantra: “Good taste is never at the expense of an other.”

Petite Mort also gives a percentage of each purchase to support Building Corridors and Critical Paths for Vermont Wildlife.

If you’re ready to jump on this trend at ground-level, Paquin says, “As with all things precious, our 2014-15 winter season is limited. Contact us at info@petitemortfur.com to inquire about your custom-designed piece.”

Leave a comment 4 Comments

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    This is a creative use of roadkill for sure! My only fear would be that it would wet the appetite for real fur again and create the old fur mills on the sly. I don’t trust that a demand would fuel others to be sustainable in their methods for keeping the fur from roadkill only. It seems that when some people see a chance for making money, they do what is cheap and easy with no responsibility to the animals.

  2. Read this in Modern FArmer website. Problem is how can you let people know you are wearing the ” good” fur? Not really a solution in my mind. And with all the new down and down alternative fabrics there are lots of ways to keep warm. and the faux furs are fun and pretty and look just fake enough to keep us all guilt free. I remember 40+ years ago my mother gave me her sealskin boots, very sensible and warm but ….. jeez they were seal ! She never understood why I refused to wear them.

    • MaryJane says:

      I rescue old fur coats, hats, etc. from the second hand stores around here. Just seems like a shame for them not to be loved by someone. I only occasionally wear them.

  3. Nancy Coughlin says:

    Not sure that I could wear one of these creations. Had a fur coat in my cedar chest that had belonged to my grandmother. Could not bring myself to wear it, so I donated it to a group that used it when working with abandoned baby animals. Thought that was putting it to good use.

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